Archive for June 16th, 2010

Learning to Be Together

amywink June 16th, 2010

So by Day 4, Wednesday, Will has settled in nicely to the morning pattern and is a VERY good boy. Quiet, steady, and sleeping while being groomed. I made sure to spend a lot of good, quiet time with him before bringing Blessing into the mix. She was excited to get into a routine as well and after I finished with Will, she had her chance at the tree and a nice grooming session.

This is as far away as I felt comfortable moving, since she’s just learning the tree but it is both of them there together:

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Currently, the morning routine involves getting Will from the pasture, giving him some attention and a nice grooming, then bringing Blessing out for her grooming. She goes back to her pasture first after some hand grazing time, then Will gets some hand grazing time, and back to his pasture. Then I hang out a while with Blessing. So far, so good.

After we finished, she was eager for me to come play with her:

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Yesterday Will moved off quickly, but he hung around today, even moving closer to the fence once I’d gone in with Blessing:

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He seems to be adjusting well and getting more comfortable–less huffy–about my spending time with her. She is quite the curious girl and finds the camera fascinating. This makes it slightly difficult to get a good photo since she keeps moving closer once I get ready to take a shot:

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But she is learning to pose briefly:

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I did manage to get two separate shots that almost look like carbon copies.

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So far, everything continues to go smoothly in the new plan. And Blessing is learning to enjoy cookies.

I hope to keep this up for the next two weeks, and then we’ll move forward from there. Slow and steady wins the race.

Tough Love

amywink June 16th, 2010

Sunday, after we drove, we separated Will from Popeye and Windy. His episodes on Saturday necessitated quick and specific action. After doing a bit of research, and considering Will’s issues and personality, I determined to use his current desperation to be with other horses to our advantage in creating a bond with Blessing. We removed the current objects of his affections, Popeye and Windy, to the back pasture, out of sight and hearing, and left him in his own pasture.

Alone.

His pasture is next to Blessing’s so she is now the only horse he can see. If he wants to be in a herd, she’s it.

Naturally, he became hysterical. Calling, bucking, snorting, racing along the fenceline as Lisa walked Windy and Popeye (who could not care less) to the other pasture. He put on quite the show–except he was kind of tired from Saturday and we’d just had a long drive, so after the first fit, he mostly he ended up doing little bunny bucks, tossing his head a lot, and calling.

Blessing watched him, clearly thinking “what is wrong with that horse?” Since he’d made himself clear about coming close on Saturday, she stayed far away. Which, of course, became a problem for him since he wanted to be with someone. Should have thought about that sooner, buddy, before you chased her so hard!

And we left them that way. Will alone, Blessing next door. And I didn’t visit for 24 hours.

By Tuesday morning, Will was a reformed horse. He was very glad to see me on and came right up to the gate when he saw my car coming down the road. He stood for his haltering, made no effort to balk or resist, sniffed Blessing pleasantly over the fence, and made his way to the standing tree, where he had a nice calm grooming session with me. Then I brought Blessing out–she had followed along the fenceline and had stood watching me groom him–and she got to learn to stand at the tree.

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Note Will’s sleeping while Blessing sneezes all over the place.

I also managed to get a photo of her “kitty milk chin” in the process.

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She did very well in her grooming session and went back into her pasture happily. I made sure everyone got a alfalfa cube before we finished our “together time”. And we had a nice nose touching over the fence (and winter blanket that is still drying). The early morning light makes the backlight a problem here:

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We had a little butt-biting, kicking, half-hearted rearing incident that I broke up with a harsh word. Both horses seemed to take me very seriously and moved off. Guess making Will be all alone has quite the impression and Blessing is not interested in seeing what happens if she challenges me. Smart girl!

Then it was just time in the pasture with each of them.

Will looked stunning in the morning light:

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And did his best to create a postcard image in the pasture:

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He seems to be surviving the Tough Love and also remembering he can be an independent horse.

Blessing decided to see if she could redecorate her newly brushed mane and tail with a good roll.

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Ah, mission accomplished:

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